SCRCA Knowledge Base for Ribblehead Station

Submitted by mark.harvey / Mon, 22/10/2012 - 23:30
Snippet Detail
  • A station at Ribblehead was not included in the original plans for the Settle-Carlisle Railway (the initial plan being to serve upper Ribblesdale from a station at Selside). It is not clear why the plans were changed, but in 1875 the Midland Railway Company sought Additional Powers to purchase an extra slice of land to the south-east of the Ingleton - Hawes road in order to build a station closer to the head of the Ribble Valley. The request was granted and a station was duly built, complete with a standard-design 'small' main station building (this structure).
  • Two names were initially suggested for the station: "Ingleton Road" and "Batty Green", the latter being the option chosen initially.
  • The station officially opened for passenger traffic on the 4th of December 1876 and for goods traffic in 1877.
  • On the 19th of July 1876, the Rev. E. H. Woodall of Settle wrote to the Midland Railway Company proposing that the name of the station be changed to "Ribblehead". His proposal was accepted and the name was officially changed to Ribblehead on the 1st of May 1877.
  • A few years after the station opened, the vicar of Ingleton parish church began holding religious services for the local community in the waiting room and a harmonium was provided to accompany the singing.
  • In 1938, Ribblehead station was used to collect meteorological data and regular weather reports were sent to the Ministry of Defense (the weather-forecasting arm of which later became the Met. Office). The Station Master and other members of station staff received special training for these duties. It is still possible to find-out about current weather conditions in the 'Three Peaks' area courtesy of the modern automatic weather station installed on, beside and inside the main station building at Ribblehead: to view the online weather report, see http://www.mylocalweather.org.uk/ribblehead/
  • Ribblehead station officially closed for goods traffic on the 7th of November 1966 and for passenger traffic on the 4th of May 1970.
  • The 'up' (southbound) platform re-opened on the 29th of September 1986 and a new 'down' (northbound) platform was opened in 1993 (the old one having been demolished in 1970 (or shortly thereafter) to allow the sidings for Ribblehead Quarry to be expanded).
  • The roof on the main station building at Ribblehead was renewed by Railtrack in 1997.
  • The Settle and Carlisle Railway Trust acquired a 125 year lease on the main station building in September 1999 and set-about restoring the rest of the structure. As part of these works:
    • The covered entrance lobby / porch (adjacent to the southbound platform) became a waiting room for rail passengers.
    • The former Booking Office and Booking Hall were converted into a visitor centre / museum.
    • The former Porters’ Room became a small shop.
    • The northern-end of the building was converted into a caretakers' flat:
      • the Gents’ Toilet block became a small kitchen and utility / storage area;
      • the former Ladies’ Waiting Room became a lounge; and
      • a new first-floor level in the roof-space provided space for a bathroom and small bedroom.
  • The caretakers' flat proved to be uncomfortable for its residents, especially in winter, so the former lounge area on the ground floor was converted into a cafeteria and shop in ???.

Acknowledgements

Knowledge base compiled by and © Mark R. Harvey. Some of the information was kindly supplied by W.R. (Bill) Mitchell, Martin Pearson and Nigel J. Mussett.